In light of the recent lockdown in Victoria, there has been some media focus on the low rate of vaccination among paramedics at Ambulance Victoria (AV). We wrote to AV calling on them to allow staff to get vaccinated on work time.
See the full letter below.
Dear Acting Lead Workplace Relations,
Re: COVID – 19 VACCINATION RATES
We write in response to the recent publicity regarding the slow uptake of Ambulance Victoria (AV) paramedics to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
Following on from discussions with our members it is the view of Ambulance Employees Australia Victoria (AEAV) that a significant blocker in achieving high rates of vaccination has been the inability of paramedics to get vaccinated whilst on shift. We understand that allowing paramedics to be vaccinated whilst on shift may have an impact on resourcing however, we believe the possible consequence on resourcing of not getting sufficient staff vaccinated is far worse.
Therefore, we propose AV put crews out of service for the purpose of allowing them to access vaccination clinics at hospitals. Crews are routinely put out of service to undergo drug testing with minimal impact on resourcing. This process could be implemented at major hospitals where vaccination clinics operate. When crews arrive at Emergency Departments, they could be met by a Team Manager on site who coordinates their attendance at the vaccination clinic and removal from service.
Those refusing or not requiring vaccination could sign a release form or sign to acknowledge that they have already been vaccinated or are unable to be vaccinated for another reason. In this way AV could keep track of those who have had the opportunity to be vaccinated and refused and the reason for refusal.
In regional Victoria, most crews will attend a major hospital at some point, irrespective of the location of their branch. If the program was run over 4 weeks (2 weeks at end of roster cycle and 2 weeks at start of following cycle) most paramedics would have attended a major hospital within this period and would then have been provided with an opportunity to be vaccinated.
We look forward to receiving confirmation of the process AV have put in place to support staff in accessing vaccinations and in ensuring the risk to the community is minimised.
Should you wish to discuss this proposal please do not hesitate to contact me.
Brett Adie, AEAV Secretary
833 Bourke St, Docklands, VIC 3008
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.aeavic.org.au @aeavicunion
Phone number: 03 9287 1713